Saturday, June 27, 2020

Wait, . . . . What??

That’s what some of you are going to say while reading, and after you have finished reading, this article. 

I’m going to take a break from the “Cultural-ishtianity” series to address what is happening in the United States of America.  I’m compelled to do so after weeks of watching what’s happening and trying to figure it out.  Being an ex-engineer, figuring things out is part of my DNA.  What is going on and who’s calling the plays?  

Here comes the part where some will wonder if I’ve lost my mind.  Ready?

We are all witnessing a well-orchestrated attack, but it’s not from who it appears to be.  Nor is this is not about what it appears to be about. Do we, as a nation, have issues that need to be addressed?  Absolutely.  But this has gone beyond that.  Powerful forces are taking advantage of a situation that started out peaceful and right, but have now been hijacked to be used for evil, lawlessness and the destruction of a nation.

What we are witnessing is one of Satan’s greatest, coordinated efforts to sow discord in such a way as to destroy this country from its foundation upward.  This, my friends, is spiritual warfare on a level that most of us have never seen in our lifetime.  

Now, before you judge me as “nuts,” allow me present my thoughts.  And, of course, you are free to disagree, but please do so with love and understanding.

Here’s what I see as the devil’s strategy:  
  • Infiltrate the schools from elementary through university. Slowly, methodically, over the last two generations, liberal, godless ideology has been taught to the children.  Now, those same children have grown up and are the professors in the universities.  They continue to teach revisionist history (U.S. and world) and hatred for anyone who would dare to disagree with them.  Christian students are, literally, ridiculed for their faith in Jesus and, in some cases, singled out for abuse and retribution. Honest professors, those who have no political agenda, have spoken out about this but they, too, have been silenced.  Those who scream loudest about free speech have stifled the free speech of believers and anyone who would dare to disagree with them, even to the point of violence, which goes without arrest or consequences.  All part of the plan.

  • A well-coordinated plan using today’s technology.  Google, Face Book, Twitter, Tik Tok, and other social media platforms have been, and are being, used to almost instantly, plan and execute the next “protest” (riot).  The same students who are attending the liberal universities (and other young people) are very savvy when it comes to the use of social media.  In fact, most of them cannot live life without their cell in their hands at all times.  And those whom Satan is using to plan, coordinate and execute this insurrection, have no idea that they are pawns, being used by the enemy of Christ. One more thing, I do not believe that those in the streets are planning any of this.  They have neither the intelligence nor the ability to design or execute with such precision.  What is happening, in almost perfect unison, requires a level of thinking and planning that the “protesters” simply don’t have.

  • Tell a lie often enough and people will believe it.  Who does Jesus describe as the “father of lies” (see John 8:44)?  This is especially true of those with no critical thinking skills (those who grew up in the schools where they did not learn to read, write or do math) which describes most of the people at these riots.  If they were able to think critically, they would see that the destruction of neighborhoods, the call to defund the police, the tearing down of historical statues will do nothing to solve the original problem of rogue police officers.  Instead, through their social-media-fed brains, they continue to scream the lies that they are being told, mostly because they aren’t able to think it through.  Once again, the devil’s plan is working with great success.

  • Spiritual warfare is going on all around us, we just don’t see it, or don’t want to understand it.  Here’s where some of you are saying, “Wait, . . . . what?”  Spiritual warfare is not a new concept.  The Bible speaks of it frequently.  Want some proof?  Here are only two of many Scripture passages:
o   Daniel 10:1-18.  Ephesians 6:10-12.

I realize that without a Biblical world-view, this makes no sense at all and will be labeled as the ramblings of a “right-wing, dangerous Christian fanatic.”  And yes, the plan is to slander and then silence all Christian voices.  Look around at what's happening.  Ever wonder why the churches had to be shut down for Covid 19 but the abortion clinics and liquor stores were deemed to be “essential?”  Think about that for a while.

So what do we, as believers, do during such times as these?  Here are some thoughts about that from Paul’s first letter to the church at Thessalonica (1 Thes. 5:12-22):
  • “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work.  Live in peace with one another.  14 And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.  15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men.  16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances.  21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;  22 abstain from every form of evil.

  • "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).

There are many believers who are struggling with what’s happening in our land these days.  Some are just plain fearful of what’s coming.  Maybe you are one of them.  To everyone who names the name of Christ as his or her Savior and Lord, remember who’s in charge.  Hold fast to the promises of Christ.  

Here are some Scripture passages to strengthen all of us during this time of uncertainty:
  • Psalm 29: 1-11.  Daniel 4:34-37.  Matthew 10:29-32.  1 Timothy 6:13-16.

The words of Dr. Mal Couch about the coming of the Rapture of the Church are even truer now than ever before, “Perhaps today.”

By His Grace,
Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Cultural-ishtianity: Church Polity (Leadership)

“Polity” is a word we don’t hear used very often.  In the context of a church, it’s defined as the form of government, leadership of a religious denomination or individual church.

According to the New Testament, the Church (or individual gatherings of believers) is to be lead by, governed by, elders and deacons (see 1 Timothy 3:1-14; Titus 1:5-9).  They are to be men who are appointed (not voted on by the congregants) to leadership because they have met the qualifications that Paul specifies in 1 Timothy 3:1-14 and Titus 1:5-9.  These elders are to be considered worthy of “double honor, especially those who teach” (1 Timothy 5:17).  Yes, according to Paul, elders are to receive a stipend, especially the elder who works hard at teaching God’s Word to the congregation.  And these elders are to be protected from false accusations that could come from disgruntled members of a congregation, in the same way accusations were handled in the Old Testament, with 2 or 3 witnesses testifying as to the veracity of the charge against an elder (1 Timothy 5:19).  Otherwise, the accusation is to be ignored.

Culture has, once again, managed to seep into the Church in the area of polity/governance/leadership of the Church.  Most churches today are set up as a corporation where the lead pastor is viewed as the “CEO,” the elders/deacons are seen as the “Board of Directors” who, by the way, can dismiss the pastor/CEO whether or not he has given them a legitimate reason for doing so, simply because the “corporation” is not growing under his leadership.  The congregants are looked at as “share holders” who expect a return on their investment (i.e. their giving/donations), otherwise they grumble and complain to the Board of Directors who, in turn, threatens the pastor/CEO with dismissal if he doesn’t please the shareholders.  The "shareholders" (the members of the congregation) oftentimes vote for the elders/deacons that they want on the elder/deacon boards, as if the Church is some sort of democracy, where the majority rules.  No!  The Church of Jesus Christ is a monarchy and He, alone, is the King.

This corporate model is wrong on so many levels, the worst of which is that it completely ignores God’s instructions, as given through the Holy Spirit to the apostle Paul.  It also assumes that if the church’s numbers are growing, if there are more and more people attending a particular church, then that church is a “success,” regardless of whether or not those attending a church are growing in love and knowledge of God and His Word.

Over the years, people have asked, “How do you know if your ministry is successful?  Is it church growth? Is it the number of baptisms? Is it the number of missionaries your church supports?” and many other so-called indicators.  My answer has been, and will continue to be, “A pastor’s ministry is successful if the people whom God has given him to shepherd are more spiritually mature today than they were at this time last year because he has worked hard at explaining the Scriptures and they are growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ, whether that is a church of 20 people, 200 people or 2000 people.”

Numbers, alone, are not an indicator of “success” in the ministry of a pastor or a church.   Unfortunately, with the “corporate” model (that too many churches have adopted), far too many godly pastors, who taught God’s Word with clarity and relevance, have been dismissed because they didn’t increase the number of shareholders in the pews.

God forgive us for straying so far from His design for His Church, and help us to get back to the leadership model that’s clearly defined for the Church in the Scriptures.

By His Grace,
Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Our Entire World Brought to Its Knees (let's pray while we're there)

There can be no doubt that the entire world, all of humanity, has been brought to its collective knees. Schools and businesses are closed; places of employment are shut down; the medical communities, of the entire world, are straining to keep patients alive if at all possible; groceries stores, once overflowing with products, have empty shelves due to the panic created by the media; the stock market is plummeting in value; even churches are cancelling in-person services.  What could possibly cause such worldwide chaos:  nuclear war, chemical spills, earthquakes, tornados, typhoons, volcanoes erupting, a zombie apocalypse?

None of the above.  It’s a virus.  Wait, its not some foreign army, aliens from outer space, or some natural disaster. Nope, it’s a virus, one that’s being passed from one human being to another, literally, and all around the planet, even to some of the most remote islands on earth.

The Corona virus, Covid 19, measures 120 nano-meters (nm) across.  That’s it?  Yep. Let me give you some perspective.  A nano-meter is one-billionth of a meter.  A meter (39.4 inches) is a little larger that a yard (36 inches).  So, if you divide one meter (39.4 inches) into one billion pieces, the Covid 19 virus is only as wide as 120 of those one billion pieces.  That is the world’s current, common, enemy; that is the one thing that the entire world is focused on stopping; that microscopic virus is killing people, by the minute, all over the Earth, and our money, our bombs, our weapons, our hatred, our politics, our most brilliant scientists, around the world, at this moment, are powerless to stop it from happening.

All of God’s creation continues to flourish.  The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, the rain is falling, the geese are squawking as they fly overhead, the sun rises and sets, the stars are still in the night sky along with the moon and the planets.  Yet mankind, the highest, most intelligent of all of God’s creatures, has been brought to our knees, by an invisible virus that measures 120 billionths of a meter.  The mystery here is how do we defeat it; how do we kill it so that it stops killing so many people?

The prophet Daniel, when faced with the mystery of interpreting the king’s dream, turned to God for wisdom and understanding:
Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; Daniel answered and said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him.  And it is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men, and knowledge to men of understanding.  It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him" (Daniel 2:19-22).

No doubt numerous believers are praying and asking God to help with this “mystery” called the Corona Virus, and that is the right thing to do.  Pray that God will be merciful and gracious and give the scientists and medical people wisdom and knowledge; pray that through the countless number of tragedies around the globe that God will reveal everyone’s need for a Savior; pray that believers will be compassionate, caring and loving and not show even a hint of spiritual pride or a judgmental attitude, but remember that they, too, were once lost souls in need of Jesus.

Hopefully all humanity will learn some very important lessons from this battle with a virus. Here’s a few:  that life, here, is short and precious; that “things” (cars, boats, houses, money etc.) mean absolutely nothing and are worthless at the time of one’s final breath; that other people, friends and family, are truly the most precious gifts that we have while we’re here on Earth.  And most of all, that there is a God who is sovereign over this universe, and every human being will stand before Him at the moment of their physical death (Hebrews 9:27) to give a reason why He should allow them into His heaven.  May the gospel message be clearly taught during this time of extreme circumstances.

Out of love, care and concern for others in your community, please heed the advice being given by the medical professionals:  (1) stay home if you are sick; (2) wash your hands frequently and vigorously; (3) don’t touch your eyes, nose, mouth or face with your hands;  (4) observe the social separation policy of 6 feet of distance; (5) the older generation are the most vulnerable to this virus; (6) please don’t panic and hoard products.  By the way, this is an upper respiratory illness, NOT a digestive one; so don’t hoard the toilet paper.

May the Lord keep you and bless you.

By His Grace,
Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Cultural-ishtianity: Interpreting the Bible

For decades now, many in western cultures have denied any sort of “absolute truth.”  That denial is part of the post-modern mindset, which sees virtually everything regarding truth as “relative.”  In other words, what might be true for one person may not, necessarily be true for someone else, even if there are facts in place that prove, beyond a doubt, that something is, in fact, true.  This is particularly relevant in the areas of morality, ethics and decency.

This relativistic method of determining what is true and not true, has dug its way deeply into the Church and especially in the area of “hermeneutics” (interpretation of the Bible). In fact, this relativistic method of determining truth has been the cause of all sorts of wrong interpretations of God’s Word, thereby creating theological havoc amongst many denominations.

Interpretation of the Bible is also driven by various cultural and political agendas:  homosexuality, abortion, social justice pundits, conservatives, liberals, warmongers and “peace at all costs” proponents. The Bible never speaks of a democracy or a republic, communism or socialism.  The Bible speaks of a Kingdom, over which rules only one King, who makes all the rules and dispenses justice accordingly.  He is a monarch.  An electoral college or a popular vote does not put Him on His throne.  King Jesus will rule and reign here on the earth at His second coming, just as the Bible prophesies.

Dr. Mal Couch taught his students that there is only one correct interpretation of a passage.  There may be secondary applications, but there is only one correct interpretation.  That’s why he was so emphatic about learning and using the original languages, so that the possibility of a wrong interpretation, and leading people astray, is minimized.

Not everyone can spend 3-6 years obtaining a seminary education; so let me give you some solid rules for doing a better job of understanding and interpreting the Bible.

For the deep study of God’s Word, I recommend the New American Standard Translation mainly because it is a transliteration of the original languages.  That being said, the following rules will apply to any good translation, but not a paraphrase translation (e.g. The Message, The Living Bible, etc.).  

When studying a passage remember the following 4 things are ALWAYS important:

  1. Context.  What is going on before and after the passage you are studying? By paying attention to this, you will better understand why the author, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has written those words.
  2. Grammar.  Pay attention to whether the words are speaking of the past, present or future. A lot of misinterpretation comes from not paying attention to the verb tenses. A pastor friend once said that a lot of Bible misinterpretation is because people don’t remember their English grammar rules.
  3. History.  What was going on during that time will tell you whether the passage applies to New Testament era believers or not.
  4. Literalness.  Take it literally unless the Bible tells you not to.  The Bible does use figures of speech and other literary devices, but normally you can determine what it means by following rules 1, 2 and 3.  The Bible says what it means and means what it says.  We may not like it, but that doesn’t render it untrue.  Too many times I hear people say, “Well, it can’t mean that,” or “I feel like God meant something else.”  No, He didn’t!  He’s very clear.

One other thing to remember:  Don’t create your theology from a singular biblical historical event.  Ax heads don’t float, but it did happened once (2 Kings 6:1-7).  Paul didn’t die when a poisonous snake, a viper, bit him, but that was for a specific time, location and reason (Acts 28:1-6).  Unfortunately, some people have taken this as normative for the Christian faith and have died after being bitten by snakes.

The Bible is not hard to understand; it’s sometimes hard to accept.  That’s because of our human rebelliousness toward God.

At the beginning of every Bible study session, pray for the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and insight into His Word.  Then follow the above mentioned rules of interpreting and the Scriptures will become more clearly understood.

May the Lord bless you as you diligently study His Word and grow in grace and knowledge of Him.

By His Grace,
Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Cultural-ishtianity: Culture’s Influence On “When Life Begins”

As we have been examining how culture has infiltrated, or influenced, the Church, we have looked at “What the Church Is NOT” and “What the Church IS.”  Without question the Church’s foundations have been, and continue to be, eroded by the pressure put on pastors, elders and other Church leadership to bend to the modern day moral values of the culture, rather than stay true to the absolute Truth of God’s Word.  There are very few people, men and women, who will stand and defend what the Bible says in opposition to what the culture is demanding.  The cost is very high for those who will not compromise Biblical truth.  Sometimes it costs them their jobs (pastors), sometimes their family relationships, sometimes their friendships, and sometimes their lives (martyrs).

One of the most contested issues that culture wants to weigh in on is “When Life Begins.”  Herein lies the entire abortion matter.  Culture, particularly western culture, has become militant in their demand to have abortion “on-demand,” at any time during a woman’s pregnancy, up to, and including, minutes after delivery of a human baby, just prior to cutting the umbilical cord.

Culture has argued for decades that it’s not a human being, “It's a fetus.”  Really?  God has created and designed every living creature since Genesis.  Each and every one of those creatures ONLY gives brings forth it’s own kind.  Whether they are brought forth in a live birth or hatched from an egg.  Dogs give birth to dogs; cats give birth to cats; lions give birth to lions; chickens hatch as chickens; lizards hatch as lizards and so on throughout all of creation.  If given the chance to go full term, every creature gives birth to its own kind.  The “fetus” argument was brought about, and perpetuated, by people who didn’t want to admit that God’s Word is true, nor did they want to bow to the Creator and Sovereign King.

So, what does the Scripture say?  Glad you asked.  Throughout the entire Bible we find words similar to this, “and she conceived and gave birth to a son” or “and she conceived and gave birth to a son and two daughters.”  There is never any question as to what comes forth from a woman’s womb at the end of her pregnancy:  she delivers a human baby, male or female.

Perhaps a look at Psalm 139 [NASB] would be helpful:
1 O LORD, Thou hast searched me and known me. 2 Thou dost know when I sit down and when I rise up; Thou dost understand my thought from afar. 3 Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down, and art intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O LORD, Thou dost know it all.  5 Thou hast enclosed me behind and before, and laid Thy hand upon me.  6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it. 

Verses 1 - 6 speak of God’s omniscience.  He knows all things about us, even our thoughts!

7 Where can I go from Thy Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Thy presence?  8 If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there.  9 If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 even there Thy hand will lead me, and Thy right hand will lay hold of me.  11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to Thee, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to Thee.

Verses 7 - 12 speak of God’s omnipresence; there is no place that man can go that God isn’t already there.  There is no place that man can hide from God.  This is something that we struggle to understand because our finite minds are trying to comprehend an Infinite God.  

13 For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.  15 My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.  16 Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.

Verse 13 - 16 speak of God’s omnipotence; it is God who designed and created the human being back in Genesis 1:27.  It is by His power that all of the systems within each one of us functions (heart, lungs, skeletal, etc.), and that “weaving” takes place at the moment of conception.  In addition, it is God who determines the number of our days here on the earth, and He did that before we were even born.

Modern medicine can detect a baby’s heartbeat as early as 5 ½ to 6 weeks.  Prior to that time, God’s design is such that cells are dividing and growing exactly has He has determined.  If left to develop, nine months later a human infant is born.

Culture wants to redefine when a human being is actually a human being while in utero.  That’s because becoming pregnant, carrying it to term, giving birth and having to raise a child, for some people (both men and women), is an inconvenience to lifestyle, career or other plans that they may have had for their lives.  If they can convince women and men that, “It’s not really a human being,” then they can help assuage the horrendous guilt that comes with having an abortion.

The pro-abortion movement has coined the phrase, “No one has the right to tell another woman what she can do with her body!”  The problem with that statement is it isn’t her body that she is mutilating and has murdered.  It’s the body of an innocent child.  But no one ever talks about that.

I read a great statement from a woman who is clearly pro-life.  It goes like this:  “If a woman is thinking, or asking, about birth control products, she knows exactly when life begins.”  Yep.

Enough said.

By His Grace,
Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Cultural-ishtianity: What the Church IS

This series of articles entitled, "Cultural-isthtianity," is taking a look at how our culture, particularly here in the west, has influenced how the Church responds to issues of our day and time.  Sadly, the Church continues to bend more and more towards what the culture deems to be acceptable and less and less toward what God's Word says and commands.

In my last article, I spent sometime talking about what the Church is NOT.  Now that we have looked at what the Church is NOT, let’s briefly look at what the Church IS, according to God’s Word.

The word:  "Church"
The English word, “church,” comes from the Greek word, ekklesia, which is a compound word:  ek = out and kaleo = call.  The Church of Jesus Christ is, literally, the “called out” ones, those individuals who have been called out of the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of light by God’s grace alone, through their faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.  The “Church,” then, is composed of all those who have believed and received Jesus as their Savior.

The “Local” Church 
The local church is a gathering of those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, who are committed to meet regularly for worship, teaching, fellowship, and prayer, and who help make disciples of other people in their immediate communities.  The location of their meeting is irrelevant as the Church is composed of people, not the location or building in which they gather.  Some local Churches meet in storefronts, some in church buildings, some in local school auditoriums and some in individual homes.

The “Universal” Church:
The universal church consists of all believers, worldwide, whom Christ has saved from the Day of Pentecost until the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-18).  Though cultures may vary and languages are different, people from around the world who share in their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, are all members of the “universal” Church.  “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’” (Rev. 7:9-10).

The Bible uses metaphors to help us understand the uniqueness of the Church.  Let’s, briefly, look at a few of those:

  • The Church, universal, belongs to no one other than Jesus (Matt. 16:18).  
  • The Church is the “body of Christ” and Jesus is the “head” of that body (1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 4:11-12; Eph. 1:22-23).  
  • The Church is “the family (or household) of God” (Rom. 8:15,23; Eph. 1:5; 2:19; Gal. 6:10;    1 Tim. 3:14-15).
  • The Church is “the temple of God” (Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Cor. 6:19).
  • The Church is “the flock of God” (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2).
  • The Church is “the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:14-15).
  • The Church is “the bride of Christ” (Rev. 19:7-10; Eph. 5:22-32).

The Church of Jesus is unlike anything else throughout history.  A person can be part of Jesus’ church regardless of age, gender, nationality, location on the planet or political persuasion.  The Church is both local and universal.  The Church belongs to Jesus and no one else.  Herein lies the problem of church splits.  The words, “It’s not your church!” need to be said to those who would stir up strife and conflict. He is the head of His church and believers make up the body.  At the same time, every true believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  We are the children of God (1 John 3:1) and the flock of God.  As our Great Shepherd, the members of the Church are protected by and provided for by God Himself.  The Church is the protector and declarer of God’s truths, which are found in the Bible.  Lastly, the Church is the Bride of Christ and one day, she will be united with Him for all eternity at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

One final thought:  No true believer can, or should, ever live life in isolation, away from the rest of the body.  Nowhere in Scripture do we see God encouraging that lifestyle.  Believers are to be joined to one another for fellowship, worship, caring, discipleship, evangelism and prayer.  There are some good local churches out there.  Keep searching until you find one that is true to the Scriptures and sees Jesus as the way, the truth and the life.

May the Lord bless you as you seek to serve Him by serving others in His Church.

By His Grace,
Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

"Cultural-ishtianity" ~ What the Church Is NOT

The last article introduced this series of articles that I have called “Cultural-ishtianity.”  As I explained, it is not the Church that has been influencing and changing the culture.  Rather, it is the culture that has been, and is, changing and influencing the Church.  That influence includes what is taught and believed about:  Jesus and His claims regarding who He is and what He’s done; when human life actually begins; homosexuality and transgender lifestyles; marriage and divorce; the role of women in the Church; interpretation of the Bible, and other topics.

Before we look at those specific topics, it would be good to define what the Church is and is not.  Let’s start with what the Church is not.

The true Church of Jesus Christ is not any of the following:
A building or a structure
A social club
A dating pool
A political party
A democracy
A theatrical production
A performance hall or concert
A coffee bar
A Bingo parlor
A business run by a CEO
A denomination
A place to come to in order to “feel good” about yourself or your life choices
A pastor or worship leader
A specific nationality or heritage
A group of identically thinking people
A gathering of perfect people
And, perhaps, most importantly, the Church is not Israel

Is that list of what the church is not surprising?  Nowhere in Scripture will you find the Church of Jesus Christ described or defined by those things.

Whenever a church, of any sort, is founded or built upon any of these things, it is not representative of Jesus’ Church.  The following quote from Dale Partridge sums up what that type of church really is, “In other words, watered-down, oversized, uncommitted, spectator churches are much like a pasture filled with Astroturf—to [the] sheep it looks amazing, but in reality, there’s not much to eat.”

As a result, the sheep are starving.  They hunger for spiritual meat and all they find is milk (or less), therefore, they cannot “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.”  So they roam from one pasture to another desperately searching for the spiritual food that will nourish their souls.  Sadly, there are not many pastures/churches around where the Word of God is clearly taught with clarity, relevance and applicability.  There are some, but they are very difficult to find.

What, then, is the Church of Jesus Christ if it is not any of the things listed above?

Glad you asked!  I will talk all about that in the next article, so be sure to keep checking back.

May the Lord bless you as you seek to serve Him by serving His Church.

By His Grace,
Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D.